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The summer of 2020 will always be remembered for so many things. West Hartford citizens were trying to figure out how to live in a pandemic. People of all colors were trying to understand how George Floyd was killed by someone who was supposed to protect and serve.
Although I will never forget these global events in 2020, I experienced my own personal event as a West Hartford resident, which will forever profoundly affect me. When something is taken from you that you truly enjoy doing, it can be tough to understand why. But imagine when that “something” is taken away in a very unfair manner. You feel confused, upset, sad, and depressed.
I moved to West Hartford 11 years ago looking for community and a good quality of life for my family. I wanted to be treated fair and not judged on appearance. I was beyond disappointed when I was no longer allowed to coach in one of the town youth sports leagues. To have it taken away, in my opinion, in a way that was unfair and biased, was hurtful. I no longer felt like a West Hartford resident.
After several attempts to resolve the situation with the other party who took coaching away from me, I was hopeless and felt like no one cared.
Without ever meeting me, Liam Sweeney approached me as a fellow citizen of West Hartford concerned about how I had been treated. He didn’t take sides or assume that I was wrong just based on what others said. But instead, Liam listened to me. He allowed me to give my side of the story and vent my frustrations. During our conversations Liam was very authentic and genuine. I didn’t feel like Liam was trying to get the “Black” vote. I felt empathy and concern from someone who realized I was just a person who enjoyed volunteer coaching. Liam didn’t make unrealistic promises regarding getting me back into coaching. But he did promise to have conversations on my behalf to understand why I was treated differently from others. I appreciated that Liam wasn’t afraid to have these tough conversations. Liam didn’t care whether I had money, drove a fancy car, lived in a certain area of town, or what political party I was affiliated with. Liam’s concern was trying to resolve the situation fairly.
Although a year has passed since the start of this issue, Liam has constantly looked to bring resolution.
I personally encourage the citizens of West Hartford to re-elect Liam Sweeney to a seat on the West Hartford Town Council. We all need someone who has our back and cares about their fellow West Hartford citizens like Liam does.
West Hartford Resident
Youth Sports Coach
Co-Founder FATBALL, LLC